Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons
Highfield & Brookham Newsletter

Head's Thoughts

Have you seen Brookham’s Wonder Wall this week? If you have then you will have spotted the wonderful irony that hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, one on the longest words in the English dictionary, is the name used to represent a fear of long words.  If you are finding that a bit tricky to articulate, fear not there is a synonym that may be slightly easier to get your mouth around, sesquipedalophobia. Read on...

Sophie Baber, Headteacher at Brookham School

Nursery Traditions

The Chinese New Year celebrations, which start tomorrow, gave the Nursery children a perfect opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world and learn about how other people live and celebrate special occasions. When they arrived at school today, the children found the classroom decorated with Chinese lanterns, good luck symbols and kites. Throughout the morning, they had the opportunity to explore the Chinese theme and learn about the Chinese culture. They listened to the story of how the names for Chinese Years originated and found out that this year it will be the Year of the Rat. They also practised their cutting skills when making Chinese lanterns and enjoyed trying to manipulate chopsticks when eating noodles. However, the highlight of the day had to be when they joined Reception to create their own dragon dance to some traditional Chinese music.

Samantha Forster, Head of Nursery

Reception Discover Dinosaurs and Beetroot!

A letter from a little green diplodocus caused much excitement in class this week. The poor little dinosaur told the children that he had lost his mummy and asked them to find out some facts about her, which the children eagerly helped with. He also sent the children a story map of his life so far which they learnt using actions. The chilly weather has provided a perfect opportunity to explore ice and its properties and the children have enjoyed discovering ways in which they could melt it. The cold has not deterred the children from exploring outside and they have been busy in the garden planting garlic bulbs. In the middle of planting, they found some beetroot! The children used their culinary skills to cut, bake and blend the beetroot into a delicious dip that they enjoyed tasting with some bread. In Maths, the children have been adding numbers together to find totals using many different resources. The children were challenged to refine their number sentence writing, using the plus and equals sign accurately. What a busy and varied week!

Jessie Millsom, Reception Teacher

Year 1 Musical Storytelling

To enhance their studies of the Great Fire of London and help bring it to life, the children are involved in lots of cross-curricular activities that develop a whole range of skills. In Music, the children are learning the song 'London's Burning' to tell the story of the fire and putting dance steps to 'Ring-a-ring-o'-roses’. They have been learning about the musical alphabet and how the pitch of the note is determined by the size of the chime bar. After practising the different parts of the song, they concentrated very well putting a fantastic version of the song together on chime bars and glockenspiels.

Mary Hall, Music Teacher

Year 2 Go To The Shops

The classrooms were buzzing this week with the children having a wonderful time playing shops. While this may just sound like a fun game, through play, Year 2 continued to develop so many key mathematical skills without them even realising it was a maths lesson! Understanding the value of money, knowing that there are often lots of different ways to make a given amount, and using addition and subtraction strategies to buy several items and give change, made the learning meaningful and challenging in a familiar context. There were even some customers haggling for a good deal and some shopkeepers offering incentives such as ‘buy one get one free’ and ‘half price’ deals - learning was everywhere.

Kerri Wilkes, Head of Year 2

Year 3 Captivated by Classical Concert

Our education is broad and varied. This week, the year group attended the annual Children's Concert played by Southern Pro Musica at Chichester Festival Theatre. As the lights dimmed, the audience hushed and the conductor, Johnathan Willcocks, arrived on stage only to realise that his orchestra were not in their seats! As he and narrator, Neil Henry, wondered where they could have got to, the strings, woodwind, brass and percussion sections gathered from all directions and began to perform a series of toe-tapping, finger-snapping, hand-clapping pieces ranging from 18th Century to the present day. The world premiere of ‘How the Whale got his Throat’, in particular, was very well received by an enthusiastic audience. For many of the children this was their first experience of attending a classical music concert with a full orchestra and presented an exciting opportunity to recognise and identify the instruments that they or their friends are learning to play.

Sophie Delacombe, Year 3 Teacher

Year 4 Bring the Savannah to Life

This half of term, the children are focussing on creative writing in their English lessons. This has cross-curricular links to their Africa topic and the children have enjoyed reading the beginning of ‘The Butterfly Lion’, which is being used as a writing stimulus. Over the last two weeks, they have created word banks of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs from the African veld and have been learning how to use fronted adverbials in order to create excellent, extended sentences. Following this, the Year 4s wrote wonderful setting descriptions about the veld and this week they started to plan their own fabulous adventure story, based on Bertie from ‘The Butterfly Lion’ and his adventures in the African savannah. We look forward to seeing their writing come alive and to see who will be crowned Year 4 champion in the House Creative Writing Competition, or even make it through to the next round of the Radio 2 ‘500 Words’ competition.

Charlie Peerless, Year 4 Teacher

Swim Squad Victors

Members of the Highfield Swim Squad travelled to Westbourne House on Monday for their first away swimming gala of the season. They were all very excited to compete in a 25m pool and to use the diving blocks provided. The squad started off strong, winning three out of the five front crawl relays. They then took part in the individual races, swimming with great determination and speed, resulting in all of our teams being undefeated in the front crawl and only one win away in the butterfly. Highfield also dominated the medley races with four wins out of five. The cheering from both children and supporting parents was, as always, loud and encouraging! It was a brilliant win for Highfield finishing 34 points ahead of our competitors. 

Sharon Simpson, Head Swimming Coach

Year 5 Rugby Tackling Technique

The U10Cs have enjoyed a very successful season so far. On Wednesday, they played a mixed B and C team from Westbourne House - it was certainly going to be a challenge! In a thrilling match, Highfield won with a nail-biting victory of 13 to 12. This was a feast of attacking, running rugby and it was great to see everyone contributing with deft handling skills and teamwork. Tackling is an area that the boys have worked hard on all season. It was lovely to see that the winning try was created by a superb last-gasp Highfield tackle on a Westbourne player about to score, allowing Highfield to steal the ball and score after a couple of super quick passes to win the game. Meanwhile, the U10A boys fought a tough battle, also against Westbourne. They got off to a great start, getting the first points on the board and showing immense strength and determination, tackling well and keeping a solid defensive line. The boys showed resilience and implemented the skills they have worked on in training, most notably their tackling and rucking technique. Despite the boys putting in an admirable performance, the Westbourne attack proved too strong. 

Andy Baker, U10C Rugby Coach, and Fraser Murphy, U10A Rugby Coach

Year 6 Boarders' Dragon Dance

Along with their peers in other year groups, Year 6 boarders were treated to a Chinese celebration in anticipation of welcoming in the Year of the Rat. A professional dancer from the Education Group brought the traditions of Chinese culture alive through an exciting workshop that challenged the children to create a dynamic dance performance complete with a traditional Chinese dragon, parasols and fans. They also learned that dragon dances are performed to scare away evil spirits and that the dragon symbolises good luck, long life and wisdom. As well as discussing Chinese New Year traditions, the boarders spent some quiet time learning the traditional art of painting a plate, using the important colours in Chinese culture and learning what they all meant. The highlight, however, came from fellow student, Suri, who captivated everyone with her truly magical playing of an instrument called a Guzheng. She has been learning the instrument for four years and played a beautiful traditional piece of music all from memory!

Jo Longshaw, Head of MFL and Sarah Baird, Head of Drama

Year 7 Give Back

The children are enjoying a variety of activities during their Keys sessions this term. This week, 7RD visited Brookham Nursery. They held a captive audience with their engaging reading and took children to explore the adventure playground. Others were with Mrs Longshaw, enhancing their own personal well-being through quiet meditation and reflection. 7JF are determined to clean up the environment and were creating posters to encourage their parents to turn off their engines. Meanwhile, 7JL are embarking on a new and exciting venture, Highfield TV. Watch this space for the launch date and expect to hear interviews, weather updates, music and more! And in the Chapel, 7JD were with Miss Feery, debating the best way to raise money for charity. There were many options on the table and the children had to offer their arguments for each and decide if they were ‘for’ or ‘against’. We look forward to seeing what the final event will be. 

Vivienne Liddell, Head of Year 5

Year 8 Epicurious Society Discuss Security

Members of The Epicurious Society met this week to discuss an important world issue. The evening began with an amazing two-course dinner and was followed by a talk from our speaker - Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Alasdair Truett MBE (father of Lily, Amélie Rose and Arabella, all of whom have at one time been students at Highfield and Brookham). Alasdair delivered a thought-provoking address on his twenty years in The Parachute Regiment and on global and British security today and in the future. The children heard how our nation’s security is directly affected by politics, economics, religion and climate change; and how these can result in confrontation, cyber-crime, terrorism and war. The society gained an understanding of how the British military is organised to meet these challenges, answers to the Queen and Government, and how critical the military’s relationship with the British people is. Everyone’s eyes were opened to the excitements, adventure and challenges of being a soldier, as well as to the responsibilities and sacrifices made by servicemen and women and their families.

John Muhlemann, Director of Music

Highfield House Points

Good Marks (Years 4, 5 & 6)

Cathy He 9 • Harry Went 9 • Dougie Hogg 8 • Tallulah Bateman 12 • Zac Jenkins 11 • Felix Cunningham 10

Agincourt 33 • Trafalgar 31 • Waterloo 27

Plus Marks (Year 4, 5 & 6)

Marlena Jensen 48 • Emilia Job 35 • Freddie Beety 30 • George Elmore 54 • Elliott Burke 53 • Izzy Hendricks 39

Agincourt 14.3 • Trafalgar 12.2 • Waterloo 11.8

Merit Marks (Years 7 and 8)

Orlando Jenkins 21 • Mariella Langtry 14 • Madya Liu 13

Trafalgar 1.4 • Waterloo 1.3 • Agincourt 1.2

Brookham House Points

Ash 189 • Oak 180 • Willow 195

These are just a few of the exciting things the children have been involved in this week. Even more exciting news and photos will be shared on social media, so please don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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